Rago also boasts an incredible repertoire of artists and designers in their archives including, Gio Ponti, Alexander Calder and more.

Gio Ponti (1891-1979)

Gio Ponti had a rich career as an architect, industrial designer, craftsman, poet, painter, journalist. He is of course most recognised for his contributions to design as one of the most influential 20th century Italian architects and designers.

Ponti began his career in industrial design after carrying out duties as a soldier in WWI. During the 1920s and 30s he produced neoclassical ceramics.

ponti_01 Two glass bottles for Venini, sold for $32,500

In the late 1920s, Ponti revoked his love for architecture. In the 1940s he designed Murano glass, created stage sets and costumes for La Scala in Milan, and developed the La Cornuta coffee machine for La Pavoni.

ponti_13 Eight dining side chairs with applied latticework, sold for $48,000

Ponti continued his career through the 1960s and 1970s. He was a source of inspiration and encouragement for designers including Alessandro Mendini and Ettore Sottsass.

Harry Bertoia (1915-1978)

Designer and sculptor Harry Bertoia travelled to America from his native Italy in 1930.

In 1943 he moved to California where he worked with designer Charles Eames. During this period he made jewellery and began to experiment with metal sculpture.

In 1949 Bertoi moved to Pennsylvania where he worked with Hans Knoll at Knoll Associates. His iconic wire furniture collection, which includes the including the Diamond Chair, debuted in 1952. In the 1950s Bertoia's pieces for Knoll were so popular, he negotiated a deal to resign and focus on his sculpture works.

bertoia_15 Bush, ca. 1974., sold for $51,000

From 1953 to 1978 Bertoia created around 50 large public commissions, working with architects including Eero Saarinen, Henry Dreyfuss, Roche & Dinkeloo, Minoru Yamasaki, Edward Durell Stone & I M Pei. He was awarded the AIA Craftsmanship Award in 1956 and the Critic's Award in 1968.

Bertoia rod forms resembling modernist cat tail reeds, called "tonals" is most recognisable as his work. Tonal roads are made ofsSteel, copper, and   are capped with cylinders or drops of metal.

Alexander Calder (1898 – 1976)
Calder's father was the sculptor Alexander Stirling Calder and his mother was a painter. At eight years old he had his own workshop in the family home. In 1909, Calder presented his parents with two of his first sculptures as Christmas presents.

In 1923 he made the move to New York and to enrol at the Art Students League. He began illustrating for the National Police Gazette, for which he was sent to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus to sketch circus scenes. The circus then became a source of inspiration. He moved to Paris in 1926 and created his Cirque Calder.

calder_05 "Calder’s Circus", 1964, portfolio of 16 offset prints, sold for $15,600

In 1928 Calder was given his first solo gallery show at the Weyhe Gallery in New York. He made companions with early twentieth century figures  including Joan Miró, Fernand Léger, James Johnson Sweeney, and Marcel Duchamp.

In late 1931, Calder created his first kinetic sculpture, his famous mobiles that would move with the air's currents.

In 1949, Calder debuted his largest mobile, International Mobile, for the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Georg Jensen (1866 - 1935)
Georg Jensen was the son of a knife grinder in Denmark. He apprenticed as a goldsmith and studied sculpture before becoming modeler at a porcelain factory.

jensen_01 Sterling jewelry by Alphonse La Paglia, sold for $6,600

In 1898 Jensen opened a pottery workshop, but after just a few years he returned to silver and worked as a designer with Mogens Ballin. In 1904 he opened his silversmith shop in Copenhagen which was very much inspired by the Arts and Crafts Movement in England and the Art Nouveau Movement in France.

Check out Georg Jensen pieces at Rago here.

George Ohr (1857-1918)
Ohr was born in Biloxi, Mississippi in 1857. His parents were German immigrants. He was taught to blacksmith by his father. He went on to  apprentice as a file cutter and a tinker. He went on to work in chandlery and became a sailor. His childhood friend Joseph Meyer invited him to New Orleans to learn the art of pottery.

ohr_07 Teapot with snake-like spout, sold for $54,625

 

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